In a huge relief for 8000 Ayurvedic doctors who have obtained their degrees from universities in Bangalore and Goa and have been practising in Maharashtra for the last ten years, the state has now included them in Schedule A of the Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act and allowed them to practise modern medicine.
Schedule A, A1, B and D of the Act allow ayurvedic and Unani doctors to practice modern medicine. After completing the Bachelor of Ayurvedic medicine and surgery course at Rajeev Gandhi university of health science at Bangalore and Goa universities, students had applied for registration in the Maharashtra council of Indian medicine.
“However we were registered in Schedule E of the Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act,” says Dr Mandar Ranade, spokesperson for National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA). Schedule E is for those practitioners who do not have a proper institutional background. Hence after completing an institutional degree, getting registered in a schedule for non institutional graduates was not only discriminatory but insulted their qualification, doctors pointed out.
In Maharashtra, the BAMS graduates were registered in different schedules based on their educational qualifications.
“Despite the same degree, curriculum and syllabus these students were registered in Schedule E of the Maharashtra medical practitioners Act,” Dr Suhas Parchure, former president of NIMA, said. He along with others actively led a campaign for the students, as despite residing in various parts of Maharashtra they could not practise modern medicine.
On June 26, the government issued a resolution that included these ayurvedic doctors in Schedule A of the Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act. “It is a a victory of sorts. These were are institutionally qualified graduates of the Central Council of Indian Medicine recognized colleges and universities and yet they were being discriminated against,” says Parchure.